Is it just me or is olive oil the kingpin of your pantry too ? Be honest, can you ever have enough in your kitchen at any one time ? It is hands down my go to oil of choice. A cornerstone of the Mediterranean diet, this amazing nutritional mainstay totes numerous health benefits. From warding off cancer by reducing inflammation with its powerful phytonutrients, to helping people with osteoporosis improve bone mineralization and calcification.
But I digress, I am not here today to express my deep profound love of good quality olive oil with all its tasty healing properties (we'll save that chat for another day). I am here to tell you that this week I've made some room in my kitchen for the other power packed oil on everybody's lips - coconut. I am aware that this oil has been in the spotlight for quite some time, but if you haven't already guessed I pledged alliance with an olive branch quite some time ago.
I will admit it took some convincing, mainly because the taste of coconut is not my fave. I can however get down with dried unsweetened coconut in different dishes. So with a little determination I set an intention to open my mind and christen my pans with this new star studded cooking companion.
I started by sauteeing the standard stir fry fare (a rainbow of whatever happened to be in my produce drawer) and a generous dollop of coconut oil. As things started to slide and sizzle, the first thing I noticed was the aroma of the oil. It was more powerful than the garlic I had added to my medley and rendered a sweet smell. Prep is a personal thing but initiating the senses is part of my process and for this particular dish I favour spicy, savory scents. To be honest, I was not a huge fan of the taste of this dish, as the oil really did lend a sweeter note.
I wasn't going to let one displeasing dish deter me. I went on to use coconut oil in baking where I felt it was far better suited. However I still liked the notion of using it for roasting and other high temp endeavors. As luck would have it the answer came to me, riding in on a scentless pony ! YES aroma free coconut oil, with all the same properties minus the taste. Well, this changed the game and I've been whipping up dually delicious and healing dishes ever since. It can be used in everything from roasted veg, homemade tortillas to desserts and baking. Another great quality is it's ability to transform texture in things like dips and desserts.
Olive oil is still my main squeeze but coconut oil is here to satay.
When looking for olive oil with nutritional benefits look for
Fresh, cold-pressed oil that came from mature greenish-yellow olive berries.This is the purest oil and has the best flavour and is rich in anti-oxidants. Oil extracted using traditional methods is devoid of chemicals, less acidic, has highest smoke point, and the longest shelf life.
These are a few of my faves ...
When looking for a coconut oil look for
The two most broad categories of coconut oil are refined (tasteless and odorless) and unrefined (closest to it's natural state) . The key when buying coconut oil is to avoid chemically-processed & hydrogenated oils.
Because I am new to the wonderful world of coconut oil I do not have any favourites yet but I will say that the oil that won me over was
Smiles & Sizzles